EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

7 things to do before the end of the season

Even if your season has still some time to run with cups, play-offs, fixture catch-ups and tournaments, those last few weeks can fly past. Be organised to set yourself up for next season.

1 REFLECT YOUR SQUAD AGAINST DEVELOPMENT TARGETS

Junior sections may have a club expectation or suggestion as to what players at each age level should be capable of performing as part of their Long Term Player Development. At senior levels you may have player profiles and targets.

Reflect where your squad is compared to your plan, or profiles; is there anything you can do in the remaining few weeks to cover any areas not quite yet up to scratch? Is there anything that can realistically be covered that is missing?

2 OUR CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

Look forward to next season’s coaching requirements. If next season has a new challenge or regulations, planning early smooths that path. New age group variations may deserve some CPD or the next stage of coaching awards, and often such courses are available towards a season’s end or during summer. It’s rare for such courses to run in the early season.

Alternatively you may be stepping down or aside and a planned handover to the incoming coach is sensible. Or if you are taking on a new squad or club this could be the time to identify what you need to know to meet the challenges you will face.

3 SUMMER “HOMEWORK” FOR PLAYERS

You also need to consider new skills needed by your players in the new season or what skills need some remedial work. This could be a basic fitness plan for everybody – or for specialised positions some definitive actions such as lineout throwing or drop-kick restarts.

Keep it appropriate – mini and midi players may well be tasked with simply enjoying their summer sports and activities.

4 CONSIDER PRE-SEASON

You’ll have a few weeks to put any pre-season plans into place, but early birds catch the worms. Make enquiries about who will be around and when – there is little point planning a busy August if most of your squad are on holiday. Consider what needs including in pre-season, which is closely connected with items 1, 2 and 3 above.

5 TALK TO THIS YEAR’S COACHES

Possibly the most invaluable advice you can receive is from those that have gone before you. Whether you’re an age group coach moving up a year, or taking over a new squad, their input now could save you from relearning what they have already been through. Grab them now before they disappear for the summer.

6 KIT REQUIREMENTS

Rather like grabbing other coaches, finding someone to clear expenditure on kit will be easier now than in the summer. What shirts will you have next season – are you inheriting a set or continuing with your current ones? Is a new strip required and if so must a sponsor be found?

Get training balls and other kit ordered at the end of this season rather than in the month before next season when every other club is panic ordering them and suppliers are struggling to get hold of them as all their staff – and manufacturer’s staff – are on holiday.

7 AWARDS PLANNING

End-of-season dinners or evenings mean end of season awards. Ordering medals and tankards needs lead-in time. Yours is not the only sports club approaching the engravers as this time of year approaches.

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